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aged in the Lord, to stand steadfast in your testimony, not giving way to the enemy, no, not for a moment. And take heed, I beseech you in the love of God, how ye enter into any treaty of peace, or terms of agreement with this ungodly, treacherous spirit, which is out of the truth, and draws out of the truth, and fights against the truth; for there is no peace unto it, saith my God. And they who have joined themselves unto it, and have wickedly given themselves up to be acted by it, and to act for it, must pass through the river of judgment, if ever they be redeemed from un. der its power. Friends, condemnation must first be felt and owned, before reconciliation can be known; and the fire of the Lord must
pass upon the transgressor, to consume the i works of darkness, the ungodly deeds, the en
vious reviling speeches, the wicked, malicious, slanderous books and pamphlets, &c. and to burn up the ground from whence they sprung. For a faming sword hath the Lord God set in his Eden, which torneth every way; and none that are gone out can ever come in again, but they must pass under the flaming edge thereof. Therefore, my dear Friends, stand your ground, in the authority of the heavenly life, and tam per not with God's enemies; remember the word of the Lord to the prophet, Let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them; Jer. xv. 19. And then what follows ? I will
make thee unto this people a fenced brazen ( wall, and they shall fight against thee, but they
shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord, ver. 20. So the God of life fill your hearts daily more and more with a Phineas zeal for the honour of his name; and furnish you abundantly with wisdom and counsel, with boldness and courage, with strength and pow. er, to encounter and overcome the enemy; and make every one more watchful against the spirit of the world, to withstand it in all its allurements to vanity, of whatsoever kind; that whatsoever would defile the camp of the Lord, may be purged out, and kept out, that the Lord may more and more delight in his people, and shower down his blessings upon them; which is the fervent desire of
Your faithful friend, in the love and service of the unchangeable truth,
THOMAS ELLWOOD. 2 Month, 24th, 1686.
1688. After this I do not find he wrote any thing, (only some private letters in his decades) but lived retired till the year 1688. In which time of privacy, as fittest for it, he began a work which he did not finish till many years after; and that was the Life of David King of Israel, in verse ; which he began for his own -diversion, not thinking then of printing it, and carried it on to the end of the third book. But then the prince of Orange landing, and
the revolution following, the nation being in arms against king James; the noise of guns, and sound of drums, &c. so disturbed his meditation and gentle muse, (which like the halcyon, breeds in calm weather) that his po. etical genius left him for a time, and he there. upon left his work for above twenty years ; of which more hereafter in its place.
1690. And here he retired again for two years; so that I find nothing to remark of him, either public or private, but some private letters, till the year 1690. When John Raunce and Charles Harris, of Wiccomb, in that coun. ty, publishing a memorial, as they called it, for the present generation, and also for that which is to come ; being an account from Wiccoinb, concerning the difference, &c. This Thomas Ellwood answered in a book entitled, the Account from Wiccomb, lately published by John Raunce and Charles Har. ris, Examined, and found False. And a warning thereof given, to all such well-meaning persons among the people called Quakers, as through personal affection, want of copsider. ation, or weakness of judgment, have been betrayed, or may be in danger of being betrayed by them, or any other in the same dividing spirit with them, and led aside from the way of truth, into a separation from the people of God: for whose recovery and preservation this is written. Which begins thus :
For your sakes it is, O ye much pitied ones, inore than for any weight in the account
itself, or worth in the authors of it, that I have thus taken notice of it. For indeed, as soon as I had perused it, I felt a compassionate concern spring in my heart on your behalfs, and a direction in spirit to open some passages therein, and relating thereto, to you, that ye might be preserved from being taken; or, if in any measure taken, might be rescued and de. livered from the snare, which the enemy of your souls, and of all righteousness, hath made use of these men to set, to entangle, entrap and catch you by. And to the true witness of the holy God, in every one of your consciences, who retain any honest breathings after the Lord, and the way of holiness, do I recom, mend this my undertaking, and the sincerity of my intention herein. Wherein he discov. : ered their deceit, as to their separation ; and that it was not for conscience, but from a lib. ertine spirit, to lay waste the good order in the church, as their actions manifested: of which he gave some instances, not to their advantage. But their works have made them manifest.
1691. The next book he published was in 1691, viz. A Reply to an Answer lately published, to a book long since written by William Penn; entitled A brief Examination and State of Liberty Spiritual ; both with re.. spect to Persons in their private Capacity, and in their Church Society and Conversation. Which book was written, or at least published.. by William Penn, in the year 1681. To dis
tinguish between true and false liberty, little understood by some, and too frequently abus. ed by others; liberty from sin, not to sin, to do God's will, and not our own; as William Penn expresses it. Which true spiritual liberty, being abused by some in the profession of the truth, as our friend Thomas Ellwood ob. serves in his preface; who under pretence of being left to that liberty in themselves, and to their own freedom therein, both took liberty to do such things as were inconsistent with that true liberty, and with the principle of truth which they professed, and despising those useful, good and necessary helps and means, which the Lord hath provided and fur. nished his church and people with, for the preventing and keeping out such disorders, evils and scandals, as the unruly nature of man, through such a mistake of true liberty, might and would bring in, did reject the coun. sel, admonition or reproof of their brethren, with what hast thou to do with me? leave me to my own freedom. To reclaim, if it might be, those who are thus deceived, and prevent others from being so, the author being pressed in spirit for Zion's sake, and for the peace of Jerusalem ; and having a deep sense, as himself expresses, of the working of the enemy of Zion's peace, to rend and divide the heritage of God, did write the forementioned treatise, for the establishment of the faithful, information of the simple-hearted, and reproof of the arrogant and highminded,” Which